At least sixty people from the Highlands region who have lost their arms or were born without them are now able to make full use of them with the help of prosthetic hands.
An American technical team has come to the aid of these people by providing and fitting them with prosthetic hands, enabling them to fully utilize their arms.
The American team led by Dr. James Ham of the University of Hawaii Medical School was in Mt Hagen from 11-16 August and fitted the artificial limbs on patients at the Kudjip and Mt Hagen Hospitals free of charge.
The patients who were fitted with the LN–4 prosthetic hands were those that had been born with no arms below the elbow or had lost them through accidents and other means.
An Orthotic technician with the National Orthotic and Prosthetic Services at Mt Hagen Hospital, Thomas Ketepa said another seven people whose arms had been cut off above the elbow would have artificial limbs made for them in Lae and fitted.
Ketepa said the LN-4 prosthetic hands fitted well on the arms of the 60 people and all of them were very happy to be able to use their amputated arms.
He said most of the recipients were men who had lost their arms through accidents or fights and only a few were women and children.
The American team was in Mt Hagen for the second time and provided the prosthetic hands as part of an ongoing program by the University of Hawaii to help such people in third world countries.